Cheryl Inkster

 
Improving Indigenous clients' access to mental health care services by exploring mental health provider bias and discrimination
Vancouver
Canada
 

Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

I decided to pursue a doctoral degree to enhance my research, counseling, and teaching skills. As a helping professional, I want to improve access to mental health services through research.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

UBC is one of the leading research institutions in the province and the only one in the Lower Mainland that offers my program of study. By studying at UBC, I have the opportunity to work alongside supervisors that I admire and will support me throughout my doctoral program.

What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?

My program is accredited by the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) and I am confident that my education at UBC will equip me with the skills to be a professional psychologist and researcher.

What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?

The best surprise about being accepted at UBC is that I get to stay in Vancouver. Vancouver is where I was born and where I call home. I feel grateful that I am able to live, study, and play on the Coast Salish territory and be close to my friends and family while I complete my PhD at UBC.

What aspect of your graduate program do you enjoy the most or are looking forward to with the greatest curiosity?

I look forward to starting my internship where I will get to apply everything that I have learned.

What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?

I completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Child and Youth Care at Douglas College and worked for several years as a youth worker supporting children, youth and families. My work inspired me to further my education and I completed a Master of Arts degree in Counselling Psychology at Simon Fraser University. My Master’s thesis was on the relocation experiences of Indigenous female youth in foster care. After completing my MA, I worked as an instructor at Douglas College in the Faculty of Child, Family, and Community Studies.

What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?

For fun, I like to hike, play piano, spend time with my family, and read. I am also part of an awesome community choir!

What advice do you have for new graduate students?

Take it one day at a time and take advantage of the services offered at UBC to support you. Go walk down to the beach before or after class and take time to rest. Balance is important, and seek help if you are not sure how or where to start.